College football viewer’s guide: Lane Kiffin appetizer, FSU-Bama entree and Texas A&M-UCLA dessert
Need some help deciding which college football games to watch this weekend? Look no further.
Navy at Florida Atlantic, 5 p.m., ESPNU
Lane Kiffin will be back on the sideline as a head coach for the first time since being fired by USC nearly four years ago. Kiffin won his initial outings as coach at Tennessee and with the Trojans (though he wasn’t so fortunate with the Raiders). Quarterback De’Andre Johnson also joins FAU. He was cut by Florida State in 2015 after a video surfaced of him punching a woman at a bar.
3 p.m.: Fordham at Army, CBS Sports Network (CBSSN).
5 p.m.: Washington at Rutgers, FS1; Colorado State vs. Colorado, Pac-12 Networks (Pac-12).
6 p.m.: Utah State vs. Wisconsin, ESPN.
6:30 p.m.: Boston College at Northern Illinois, CBSSN.
Maryland at No. 23 Texas, 9 a.m., ESPN
After posting a 22-4 record in two years at Houston, Tom Herman was hired to resurrect a Texas program that hasn’t finished above .500 since 2013. Quarterback Shane Buechele returns after setting a Longhorns freshman passing record of 2,958 yards last season. Maryland wide receiver D.J. Moore has caught a pass in 21 consecutive games.
9 a.m.: Kent State at No. 5 Clemson, ESPN; Akron at No. 6 Penn State, Channel 7; California at North Carolina, KDOC; Bowling Green at Michigan State, ESPNU; Wyoming at Iowa, Big Ten Network (Big Ten); Missouri State at Missouri, SEC Network (SEC).
9:30 a.m.: Betune-Cookman at No. 18 Miami, FS West.
11 a.m.: Portland State at Oregon State, Pac-12.
No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 17 Florida at Arlington, Texas, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
It’s been tough figuring out who might be playing in this one. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t release his team’s roster until Wednesday and as of Thursday hadn’t identified his starting quarterback. Florida coach Jim McElwain waited until Wednesday to announce redshirt freshman Felipe Franks as his quarterback. The Gators suspended 10 players for this game, nine for the alleged misuse of school funds.
Western Michigan at No. 4 USC, 2:15 p.m., Pac-12
The last time the Trojans were ranked this high in the preseason was 2012 — they started at No. 1 but finished the season unranked. Western Michigan won 13 games last season but lost its coach, starting quarterback and top receiver. New Broncos quarterback Jon Wassink hasn’t played competitive football since high school in 2014.
Noon: South Carolina vs. North Carolina State, ESPN.
12:30 p.m.: Texas El Paso at No. 7 Oklahoma, Channel 11; Temple at Notre Dame, Channel 4; Nevada at Northwestern, Big Ten.
12:45 p.m.: Troy at Boise State, ESPNU.
1 p.m.: Charleston Southern at Mississippi State, SEC; Eastern Washington at Texas Tech, FS West; Kentucky at Southern Mississippi, CBSSN.
3:15 p.m.: Appalachian State at No. 15 Georgia, ESPN.
4 p.m.: Liberty at Baylor, FS2.
4:30 p.m.: Georgia Southern at No. 12 Auburn, SEC; No. 16 Louisville vs. Purdue, Channel 11; South Alabama at Mississippi, ESPNU.
5 p.m.: Jackson State at Texas Christian, FS West; Arkansas State at Nebraska, Big Ten; Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee State, CBSSN.
5:15 p.m.: Southern Utah at Oregon, Pac-12.
No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 1 Alabama at Atlanta, 5 p.m., Channel 7
It’s the first time two top-three teams have played on opening day since the Associated Press started its preseason rankings in 1950. Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher will try to become the first of Alabama coach Nick Saban’s former assistants to beat him as a head coach. Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts passed for 2,780 yards with 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions and rushed for 954 yards and 13 touchdowns last year; Florida State’s Deondre Francois passed for 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Brigham Young vs. No. 13 Louisiana State at New Orleans, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
This game was moved from NRG Stadium in Houston to the Superdome in New Orleans because of the flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey. Former USC assistant and interim head coach Ed Orgeron had the “interim” tag removed at LSU in November. Running back Derrius Guice rushed for 1,387 yards in 183 carries and 15 touchdowns last year. BYU opened the season last week with a 20-6 victory over Portland State.
7:30 p.m.: Montana State at No. 24 Washington State, FS1.
8 p.m.: Northern Arizona at Arizona, Pac-12.
No. 22 West Virginia vs. No. 21 Virginia Tech at Landover, Md., 4:30 p.m., Channel 7
Quarterback Will Grier, who transferred from Florida after being suspended for a failed drug test, will make his first start for West Virginia. Before his first start as Virginia Tech’s quarterback, Josh Jackson expects to receive a pregame pep talk via phone from New England Patriots superstar Tom Brady.
Texas A&M at UCLA, 4:30 p.m., Channel 11
This same matchup resulted in a 31-24 overtime for by Texas A&M last season. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen passed for 343 yards and one touchdown that day but also had three passes picked off. This will mark Rosen’s first start since his season-ending shoulder injury last Oct. 8. After a third straight 8-5 finish, A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is on the hot seat.
11 :30 a.m.: South Carolina State at Southern, ESPN2.
No. 25 Tennessee at Georgia Tech, 5 p.m., ESPN
Add Tennessee’s Butch Jones and Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson to the list of coaches who did not name a starting quarterback leading up to their team’s opener. Jones could go with either junior Quinten Dormady or redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano. Johnson’s options include juniors Matthew Jordan and TaQuon Marshall and redshirt freshmen Lucas Johnson and Jay Jones.
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